In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter speaks to the European Journalism Centre’s Adam Thomas about its mission of enabling and sustaining quality journalism through a program of online resources, seminars, training and grants.

In the news round-up we discuss Wired’s paywall, digital successes at several other outlets, and the She Rocks editorial campaign across Team Rock’s titles. Peter admits that he can’t handle the feeling of hope.

We’re reading:

In our own words: Peter Houston

I met Adam Thomas at the News Impact Summit in Manchester last year. As Director of the European Journalism Centre, Adam leads the team that organises these summits around Europe, introducing local journalists to media ideas and innovations that they might otherwise miss.

The EJC also delivers training and learning materials and distributes grant funding, all targeted at developing high-quality, sustainable journalism.

I invited Adam on to the podcast after reading about #AsEquals, a project that funded global news giant CNN to be the distribution partner for dozens of independent journalists covering gender equality. The project confused me and inspired me in pretty much equal measure and I really wanted to understand how it worked.

I struggle a little with philanthropy in journalism. I’m nervous of press projects that are financially beholden to rich individuals, regardless of their motives. But, in the middle of a perfect storm of collapsing business models and rapid technology change, media needs money.

Redistributing grant money from the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the EJC is independent, international and non-profit. And the work it does is all about sustainability not dependency.

I really hope the future of journalism is more than charitable giving. But until we can get there, it was reassuring to hear Adam’s views on the development of the media ecosystem, especially partnerships between big media and the ‘accidental entrepreneurs’ that have become so common in our world.

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